It’s been an interesting decade for Indian real estate…and for India as a whole. The last ten years have been a period of economic upheaval, as the economic and financial capital of the country shifted from New Delhi to its satellite city of Gurgaon.
Business Today reports that investing in Indian real estate has given steady returns over the last ten years.But after so much change, and a definite slowdown at the end of 2014, what does all this mean for the real estate market in booming cities like Gurgaon and Noida? It’s a very interesting market and, with the right preparation, the final quarters of 2015 could be a prime opportunity to make a profit by investing in real estate.
Location, Location, Location!
2014 was a rough year for the housing market, especially in northern India, as the National Housing Bank Residency Index reported a heavy dip in property prices. However, prices began trending upwards in the second half of the year, and Yahoo! Finance’s experts predict that 2015 will be a year of recovery, with many new projects, renewed interest, and climbing prices. Now is the time to get into the housing market, before prices start to spike. With so much activity throughout the country, where are the best investment opportunities located?
The NCR is a huge hotspot for housing and real estate, as many young people are drawn to Delhi and its satellite cities by the abundant jobs available. The satellites, especially Noida and Gurgaon, are extremely popular destinations with vibrant markets.
At first glance, you may be inclined to steer away from Gurgaon: demand for new residential projects has slowed down over the last three quarters of 2014. There’s as bigger picture to Gurgaon’s real estate, however. Bank of America told NDTV that prices are rising in Gurgaon, up 4.5 percent over just three months, driven by fewer available units and increasing speculation among investors. Rediff.com predicts that residential plots will drive real estate in 2015, and with major, top-of-the-line developers like Unitech planning projects in the city, 2015 looks like a great year to buy property in Gurgaon.
Avoid Pre-Launch Properties
While there are some very lucrative investment opportunities in the current market, nothing will eat up an unprepared investor’s profits faster than a risky business decision. Business Today reported several cases of new investors buying plots in planned, pre-launch developments, only to find out, after years of delays, that the developments never existed. Pre-launch properties (plots where construction has not yet begun) are an extremely high risk investment, but they can look very tempting because prices are so low. However, even if the developer is completely above board, pre-launch projects often suffer from delays and cash flow problems. According to Business today, a significant number of projects announced in 2006 are still under construction today. If you want a steady investment with a guaranteed resale value, an existing property may take a higher buy-in, but will be much less risky in the long run.
Finding Reputable Developers
Many of those developers whose projects failed to launch were honest businessmen who ran into difficulties. Because demand for real estate is so high, especially in the NCR, there are many unscrupulous players entering the real estate market looking to take new investors unaware. This puts a lot of pressure for quality assurance on the investor.
A builder’s reputation is the most important thing to be aware of before you decide to do business with them. Vineet Singh, the head of business at 99 Acres.com recommends doing a thorough check of the builder’s track record and past performance. The longer they have been in business, the more likely they are to be above board.
Singh also recommends going through a similar process if you choose to buy an existing property: complete legal due diligence to make sure that all legal clearances and paperwork are up to date on the property. Some unscrupulous agents or sellers will try to pin outstanding debts, damages, or municipal charges on a new buyer. A thorough background check on the property, its registrar’s credentials, and the payments of municipal utilities, is the best way to avoid getting stuck with hidden fees after buying a new property.
A Few Final Words
2015 is a year of growth and recovery for Indian real estate, which makes it a great time to build up an investment. With the right research and the right location, you can turn a small investment into a real profit. The NCR, especially Gurgaon, is full of investment opportunities—housing will be the driving force of the housing market in 2015, so there’s never been a better time to buy property in Gurgaon.